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ADR (dangerous goods)

ADR is the name of the European treaty regarding dangerous goods. The treaty contains regulations for traffic regarding packaging, securing of loads, and labelling of dangerous goods.

The Term

ADR is an abbreviation for "Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises dangereuses par route", which translates as "The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road." The international term ADR is so widely used in the transport industry that almost anyone in the industry understands what is meant, regardless of their country of origin.


The treaty was signed in Geneva in 1957, but did not come into effect until the end of January 1968. Every two years, it is adjusted to match the latest technical and legal findings. All EU membership states are party to the treaty, the ADR is legally valid thanks to an EU directive. In addition, all other European countries have joined the treaty, along with Morocco, Tunisia, and some of the Central Asian countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. In total, the ADR treaty has 48 member states (as of 6/2017).

The Regulations

Every HGV driver who transports dangerous goods requires a hazardous goods licence. The official name for this licence is the ADR training certificate. It is valid for five years and automatically expires if not extended before the expiration date. In order to extend the licence, every driver must pass a refresher course.

Every company that regularly transports dangerous goods requires at least one dangerous goods safety adviser. They are responsible for ensuring that the company complies with provisions and obligations pertaining to dangerous goods.

Every truck that transports dangerous goods requires special equipment. This includes hinged orange hazard signs, a helmet and protective goggles, and two fire extinguishers.

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